Photo: UConn-Stamford Team before the Orientation at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on September 12, 2023. From left to right: Kiet Tran, Noah Park, Danile Barreto, Dr. Smirnova, Kevin Jankowski, Adrien Vincent, Serhiy Kotsopey (TA), Felix Brito-Velazquez, and Parth Trivedi.
UCONN Stamford team participated again in the College Fed Challenge national competition. The College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.
In the Fall 2023, the Stamford team consisted of seven students who represent a diverse set of majors and minors at the Stamford campus.
Daniel Barreto, Team Leader. He is a senior majoring in Economics. His passion lies in understanding the intricate workings of the economy, a skill he found invaluable in his ventures within financial markets. One of his primary career goals is to perpetually expand his knowledge and push his limits in life. His part-time position at a law firm, which commenced in the spring, has played a pivotal role in advancing his aspirations of becoming a corporate lawyer. Daniel’s summer fellowship at WaveAerospace provided him with invaluable insights into the dynamics of a small business startup. It was an experience that deepened his understanding of economics and business, further propelling him toward career goals. Upon graduation, Daniel plans to pursue further studies in corporate law. Read Daniel’s reflection here.
Felix Brito-Velazquez is a senior majoring in Economics. He has embarked on his journey in economics driven by a genuine interest in how money shapes our society. His passion for economics started as he experienced the consequences and witnessed the complexities behind Venezuela's economic collapse, a crisis triggered by government intervention in the central bank and private sector. This early curiosity has since evolved into a broader interest including politics, finance, and history. In parallel to his academic pursuits, he has spent the last five years as a Personal Banker at Bank of America, where he has had the opportunity of helping individuals navigate their financial decisions. It's his deeply held aspiration to merge his academic knowledge, real world experience, and enthusiasm to play a meaningful role in crafting a more equitable economic environment for all. Read Felix’s reflection here.
Kevin Jankowski is currently in his third year at the University of Connecticut, where he is studying Financial Management with a minor in Economics. Kevin is passionate about his academic pursuits and has plans to continue his education with a master’s degree in quantitative risk management. Kevin’s career goal is to enter the world of Investment Banking. He is dedicated to working hard and seizing opportunities to expand his knowledge and skills. Read Kevin’s reflection here.
Tuan Kiet Tran comes from Vietnam. He is a sophomore majoring in Marketing Management. The striking cultural contrasts between his homeland and the US have opened his eyes not only to the vast economic disparities but also to the power of decision-making on a global scale. His passion for economics stems not merely from textbook theories but from witnessing the profound impact that decisions made by a few can have on the lives of millions. This understanding deepened as his personal hobby of cooking confronted him with the stark reality of escalating grocery prices. The surge in daily expenses prompted his curiosity, leading me to participate in the Fed Challenge. Kiet’s involvement in the Fed Challenge further enriched his understanding, demystifying the forces behind inflation and potential countermeasures. As he continues his academic journey, he remains committed to bridging the gaps between theory, personal experiences, and real-world implications. Read Kiet’s reflection here.
Parth Trivedi is a senior majoring in Economics. As a teenager, he had a passion for economic theory which he was able to nurture with the guidance of the Econ department at UConn. The Federal Reserve Challenge has lived up to its name, testing Parth’s analytical and communication skills. Though Parth had hoped to win, he hopes that the experience of a competition itself will allow him to prove himself capable as a professional Economist.
Noah Park is the Student Body Vice-President and a senior majoring in Digital Media & Design and minoring in Economics. Noah was honored to represent our university's economics team, especially for the prestigious College Fed Challenge competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As a team member, Noah closely examined and forecasted trends within the current housing market. While his primary major may seem distinct from economics, he firmly believes in the importance of understanding financial markets across all sectors. His passion for economics was ignited by his fascinations with numbers, especially measuring statistics for his favorite sport, the NBA, as well as his desire to comprehend the complexities behind the 2008 housing market crash, a pivotal event that highlighted the far-reaching consequences of economic shifts today.
Noah’s commitment to both design and economics is a testament to the diverse and integrative education offered at UConn-Stamford, demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between design thinking and economic acumen. Post-graduation, his aspirations are both clear and ambitious. He intends to seamlessly weave business and economics in his personal endeavors, focusing on individuals, particularly those with ADHD. By tapping into the synergies of his academic background, Noah plans to devise strategies to empower individuals with ADHD to enhance their executive functioning skills, enabling them to lead more fulfilled and productive lives. In tandem with this venture, Noah is fervently pursuing a part-time position as a summer TA at Yale University. This role promises to be a keystone in his academic journey, facilitating his advancement in the management master's program and allowing Noah to further delve into the confluence of design, economics, and impactful pedagogy. Read Noah’s reflection here.
Adrien Vincent is a sophomore pursuing Financial Management with a passion for entrepreneurship. Throughout his college experience, Adrien has strived for success in the business world through various internships and the Student Government CFO of UConn Stamford. His drive for business ventures has allocated his goals in various directions, which gratefully enabled him to join the Fed Challenge Team at Stamford. Aside from Adrien’s business ventures, he enjoys branching out into other interests and hobbies, such as playing in chess tournaments, producing music, and going camping. Read Adrien's reflection here.
The 2023 competition was still virtual, but the Orientation at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was in-person. The 2023 team’s video is available here.
The experience of the College Fed Challenge competition is an extraordinary way to build career competencies. As students reflected in their essays, the course teaches them not only economics knowledge, but also critical thinking, communication, and team building skills. Participation in this competition becomes a cornerstone of their academic career at UConn and is offered as ECON 3492-Practicum course.